I love to travel and the better I spend my travel money the more I can do so.
And yet, there are still times where I waste money.
It may be due to poor planning or thanks to a choice that, in hindsight, I would not make again. And it may be because of a simple mistake.
I thought it might be valuable to look back on my travels of 2016 for the times I wasted my travel money in hopes of learning how to do better in the future. And there was certainly some learning done.
In Hawaii I Could Have Saved $449.00
This was my biggest budget mistake of the year. If I were to go to Kawaii again I would stay in the women's dorm of the Kauai Beach House Hostel the entire time. I got less satisfaction from the more expensive places I stayed. Please note that this is a very popular hostel and would require early booking to get 13 consecutive nights in the dorm. I should also say that I don't regret staying at the other places as doing so allowed me to offer you a variety of accommodation options.
- Budget Accommodation in Kauai: Four Ways to Stay
- Solo in Kauai: What I Spent
- Affordable Kauai – 32 Free and Low-Cost Tips
A Taxi Ride Breaks the Budget on the Isle of Skye
I traveled to the Isle of Skye by bus. I walked and used public transit to get around. I stayed at a hostel. I did just about everything right to explore the Isle of Skye on a budget, with one major exception. I chose the wrong day to take an organized day tour. I took the tour on a Sunday and only when I was committed to this day did I learn that the buses stopped running after my tour bus returned to Portree, a 40-minute drive from my hostel. I didn't panic. I figured something would work out. Perhaps I'd meet someone along the way who would have a solution. Perhaps someone on the tour would have a car and be going north. But alas, no luck. My only option was to pay 50 GBP or US$65 for a taxi home. That's almost Cdn$90. The price hurt but under the circumstances it was the only wise thing to do.
I Underestimated Sydney's High Cost of Living
I wasn't overly concerned about this trip. After all, I was staying with family and I had paid for the flight a few months earlier. Plus, the Australian and Canadian dollars were about on par. How much could the trip really cost? In truth, a lot! I had not accounted for the fact that Sydney is a much more expensive city than Toronto. Consumer prices in general are 18% more in Sydney than in Toronto. The difference was so obvious to me that I wrote this while I was there.
A Lost Credit Card Results in Valuing My VPN More
Traveling breaks patterns. This is typically a good thing as it shakes the cobwebs out of daily routines. But it can also result in mistakes happening. With additional items (like a passport) to keep track of and different places to keep things (like a daypack rather than a purse) and distractions with so much new around you, it's easy for things to go astray. This is what happened to me in the Periwinkle Cafe at Ingonish on the Cabot Trail. I got talking to the woman at the cash who then offered to give me a tour of their inn. That little distraction was enough to have me leave my credit card at the till. I was a few hours away when I discovered the problem. However, in considering my options I realized a new benefit to having a VPN on my phone.
- Eek! I Lost My Credit Card
And more from my Nova Scotia road trip:
- Cape Breton, Nova Scotia: 32 Tips for a Great Trip
- It’s Not the Middle of Nowhere But… Finding Big Luxury in a Small Town
- That Solo Travel Smile
And One Time I Didn't Lose
On my last day in Hawaii I was in Honolulu and, to be honest, I was regretting my decision to go there. Yes, I wanted to see Pearl Harbour which I did. I'm glad of that. But the rest of Honolulu I could do without. I'm much more a Kauai kind of person. Honolulu is touristy and there are people hawking local attractions on almost every corner. I sat for a while and watched a couple operate. Their modus operandi became clear and it was definitely not to the advantage of the consumer. This is one travel money mistake I didn't make.
- Tickets to Attractions and Day Tours: How to Get the Best Deal
Do you have some of your own travel money mistakes to share? Please do so in the comments below.